I still remember the first day I received Spectre, which was in July 2012, and just how much she freaked me out. Despite the fact that I had seen photographs of Extatosoma tiaratum on the internet I was completely unprepared for just how alien these creatures look and behave (compared to what I'd previously kept and experienced in the outside world), but I rapidly fell in love with her and the species as a whole. It's mind-boggling just how many doors these beautiful creatures opened for me and just how much of an appreciation for God's creation they helped to inspire.
I've felt so privileged to actually raise and breed these animals - watching them change from tiny two centimetre long, slender and delicate "things" that run around like headless chickens in their search for food to massive, spiny, clumsy, ridiculously awesome bramble-devouring machines that would rather stab your fingers that let you take their bramble away (or just keep on eating it while you move them, hanging inelegantly by three legs with their last few flailing in the air)... incredible.
I have never been so amused and awe-struck by one creature in my life and I honestly cannot praise God enough for his astonishing creation. I've also enjoyed detailing what I can, when I can, about their antics and sharing this with you all - I'm only sorry that I've not done it more often, particularly so of late. I hope you can understand that sometimes I find it just too hard to get this blog updated, hopefully in future things will improve, though... God willing.
This particular blog post is a mixed bag of news as while I am very excited that it is coming up to the first anniversary I also have a fair bit of sad news at the moment about the current state of the present generation (that is, the offspring of Terra and Firma). The truth of the matter is that my health has taken another turn for the worst and we are now looking into the possibility that I may actually have multiple sclerosis (MS)... I have a hospital appointment on Thursday (15th August 2013) with a neurologist to see if there is anything else that could be causing my pain, fatigue and myriad of other issues, including me having an MRI (full body scan) to check for lesions. We don't really know what's going to happen nor what to expect but it is because of my bad turn that I have unfortunately... had to rehome all of my current insects (as well as my giant African land snail, "D").
I have not taken this decision lightly and it has been on my mind for quite a while now. It's difficult but as I find myself struggling more and more to feed the insects and keep their enclosures clean and therefore their environment healthy it just seemed like the most responsible decision and best for the bugs. My bedroom is distinctly emptier now and I can't help but feel a tug at my heart when I realize just how little is actually here now, but I do honestly and truly believe that it was the right choice.
The insects rehomed were four females (one adult, two sub-adult and one that had moulted twice, all children of Terra) and three males - these three males were not Terra's offspring, unlike the females, and two of the adult males had mated the one adult female so the eggs she produces should be genetically stronger than her sisters. The insects were taken to a "fairly" local garden centre that is the one local place I know of that actually sells phasmids. The gentleman who took the insects knows of someone who is keen on this particular species and I am confident that they will flourish in the future with an owner who can assuredly look after them. It gives me great peace of mind although I am sad, of course.
The youngest of the seven is unique in that she actually spent a night outside due to an error on my part. She was kept with the sub-adult females (and one adult male) for a while and I, thinking she had been placed back into the enclosure after it was cleaned and re-stocked with bramble, ended up placing her outside in our used bramble bin... whoops. I went outside the following day and found her sat on the side of the garden shed, chilled out... she happily crawled onto my hand and I took her inside and monitored her. She was absolutely fine and moulted a couple of days after, eating like a little piglet. I hope she brings her new owner as much joy as she has brought me - the same goes for all the bugs.
So what will happen to "The Spectre Legacy"? I will tell you... the third generation of the legacy is not lost! I still have five of Terra's eggs in incubation as well as a small number of eggs from the mated adult female who was rehomed today... so the third generation is secure as long as the eggs actually hatch. It is my hope that by the time these eggs begin to hatch I will be able to take care of them appropriately - that will be in at least four months. If I find I do not make positive progress to the point where I am confident I could care for them by around month two or three of their incubation I can look to rehoming the eggs. I hope and pray it does not reach that point but I won't concern myself with it now. I cannot see the future and will therefore not let those concerns take over it...
The Spectre Legacy is definitely not lost, it is simply "on hiatus" while I deal with real life stuff. The entire website needs a bit of an update so that will, Lord willing, be my next task. Maybe I can use this break to improve the quality of the information this website provides. Who knows! I sure don't but I'll do my best, that's all any of us can do, really.
God bless you always, thank you so much for your support.